Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Failing economy has Egyptians delaying marriage

Job shortages and lack of income have created a nationwide trend of marriage postponement in Egypt and the Middle East, according to The New York Times. Many young adults are turning to Islam as an outlet for their frustrations.

Ahmed Muhammad Sayyid, a single, 28-year-old unemployed Muslim, recounts his broken engagement. Due to insufficient funds, Sayyid’s fiancée’s family forced the bride to cancel the wedding because Sayyid could not provide adequate housing or stability for their daughter. As a result of this devastating news, Sayyid “spun into depression and lost nearly 40 pounds,” the article says.

Sayyid’s story is not unique in the Middle East, as many young adults in the region are unable to acquire sufficient funds to marry. The economy has left many educated citizens poor, and job shortages have hindered social mobility. According to the article, this unfortunate series of events has led young adults to turn to “religion for solace and purpose.” In addition, because Islamic identity has become paramount, secular states are being forced into religious identification, and this worries many government officials. There is a common fear that an Islamic revival will usurp government power.

Hamadi Taha, a communications professor at Al Azhar University, discussed how easy it is for extremists to recruit Egypt’s youth. The young people are desperate for a change, Taha said, which makes them vulnerable to the influence of terrorists. Taha started a government-sanctioned charity that organizes mass weddings for individuals who want to marry but lack financial support. This encourages individuals to settle down instead of act out.

In Islam, the article says, “marriage is not only the key to adulthood but also a religious obligation.” Therefore, it is important to recognize the needs of individuals willing to marry and help these citizens.

For the full article, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home